PH urged to join fight vs. climate change


An official from the European Union’s (EU’s) climate change commission said developing countries such as the Philippines should also be legally bound to draft and implement measures that would lead to a significant agreement on the fight against climate change at the Paris summit in 2015.

Connie Hedegaard, EU’s climate change commissioner, noted that there were improvements in the country in terms of awareness and project implementation. However, she said there is a need for countries to realize that developed countries, such as the members of EU, should not assume the full burden of fighting against climate change.

The EU has urged major economies and developing countries to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 20 percent by 2020 in the hope that the said move would translate to an 80 percent to 95 percent reduced emission by 2050.

Hedegaard has tagged 2014 as the year of ambition, which means countries must race to implement laws and draft new agreements in order to reach the targets set for 2015, 2020 and even 2050.

“Deadline is coming closer. Maybe we are thinking, we can postpone it a bit further. I say no. We are running late. This deadline is important. It is to risky to wait until Paris 2015 and see if countries will bring something to the table,” she added.

In the 2009 Copenhagen and 2011 South Africa summits, countries agreed to conclude a more binding agreement by 2015 in Paris, a massive gathering of developing and developed countries that aims to combat climate change through the discovery of alternative sources of energy and means for adaptation and mitigation.

Hedegaard, meanwhile, lauded the country’s efforts to secure laws and implement projects that would be helpful in reaching the goal in the next two years. However, she noted that there is a need to “inject ambitions” in the talks if the international community is to reach the goals it earlier set.

However, though the meetings have been constructive, Hedegaard still urged the Philippines to “be equally legally bound to do what we can according to our capabilities.”

She added it is not lost to Western countries like the European Union member-states that they need to be more proactive and exemplary in pushing for the programs and the goals.

Even amid the economic turbulence in the region, EU was able to commit 7.2 billion euros for climate change fund. They are also open to funding projects and programs in developing nations.

“Things are being done in the Philippines . . . On the resilience and adaptation side. There are many things about deforestation and wind. There is basic awareness there,” Hedegaard said.

However, “I’m a bit puzzled that the Philippines, so far, has not internationalized what you are doing. You don’t have the biggest emission, and yet you are doing things. Why not show them to others? Tell the rest of the world.”

According to United States Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), the Philippines has a per capita emission of 0.8 tons in 2009, placing it at the rank of 159.

From the same list, Qatar ranked first with 44 tons of per capita emission, Trinidad and Tobago with 35.8 tons and the Netherlands with 31 tons.


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